menu Sluit het hoofdmenu

SXSW 2019: Unlock all potential on New Dutch Wave

15% of all people have a disability. Because of their limitations, people with disabilities are often excluded from access to the (digital) world and its technology. If only governments and companies understood the real potential of such a large group of civilians and consumers, we could find more ways in which technology could help to enhance their lives to the full potential. The key to a larger audience for companies and public services is choosing for accessible and inclusive innovations. We like to take part in that transition.

Afbeeldingen in de vorm van een kluis slot

Bartiméus and the Accessibility Foundation combine their knowledge, experience and expertise at SXSW 2019. Allow us to introduce ourselves.

Bartiméus, expertise centre for visually impaired people

Bartiméus’ mission is to contribute to a good life for people with a visual impairment at any given time and location. Our purpose is not solely to help people to obtain 100% vision but to help them to live their lives 100%.

Since its foundation in 1915, Bartiméus has become a nationwide expertise organisation in the Netherlands that supports blind and partially sighted people. Together with our 1.500 employees that offer services in diagnostics, care, education and housing, we continuously enlarge our knowledge about living with a visual impairment. We apply the latest insights using innovative resources, we convert new ideas into promising developments and are involved in (scientific) research. This usually takes place in cocreation with scientific, higher educational and other research institutes and companies. The questions and needs of people with a visual impairment are the basis of any of our research and innovation projects. We share our knowledge with partners in care, teachers, municipalities, politicians, policy makers, employers. We will support anyone who is involved with people that are partially sighted or blind.

The Accessibility Foundation

It is the Accessibility Foundation’s mission to improve the accessibility of internet and other digital media for all people, including the elderly and people with disabilities. We are market leader in digital accessibility in the Netherlands. In Europe and abroad, we are an important provider of expertise in the digital accessibility domain in many European and local projects. We We provide accessibility support on policy, strategic and operational level. We cooperate with (inter)national stakeholders and leading European partners. Where Bartiméus has a focus on visual impaired people, we focus on technology for all people with disabilities.

Our fields of expertise

Social relations

We have developed an app that offers personalised make up tips and advice from a professional visagist for people that are visually impaired. How do you choose your personal style when you can’t distinguish from the make up colors. This app supports the choices you make and keeps these in mind, for every next time you visit the make up store. Social relations innovations also involve the technological means to stay in contact with family and friends with the same means everybody is using.

Independent living/home domotica

Living your life less dependent on others nowadays means living in a smart environment that is adapted to your needs. This includes in house navigation based on GPS or beacon techniques but also smart household apparatus, that can be controlled with a smart phone. Even a doorbell can be altered into a device that  can be ‘heared’ by people that are deaf and blind simultaneously.

Access to information

Our goal is to offer disabled people ways to search, find and read information on the internet. This concerns the goal to automatically translate complex and abstract text into understandable information. But also we do research on technical solutions that allow disabled people to order products or services from a webshop or from an online ticket office.


Everyone wants freedom to move and choose their own means of transportation, also visually impaired people. We explore techniques for them to find their way in and around their house by using a ‘virtual guideline’ on a smartphone or a virtual house map, that speaks to you and tells you where you are. But also we offer advice to public transport companies and municipalities to enhance their support for travelling disabled people by using the aspect of ‘inclusive design’ or ‘design for all’.

Leisure activities

We seek new ways to get visually impaired children to play, for instance with a led light curtain that offers virtual games or a sound ball that offers a variety of sounds according to different game tasks or levels. With the Scribit technology, images and scenes in movies are transcripted for visually impaired, so they can actually experience a movie or documentary by listening to the descriptions of the scenes in it.

Foto SXSW conferentie mensen binnen foto van Ben Houdijk

Photo: Ben Houdijk.

What is our mission at SXSW 2019?

We would like to get in touch with:

  • Innovators that have new ideas on inclusivity to collaborate to bridge the inclusivity gap and enhance the lives of people with complex needs.
  • companies that are willing to expand their customer groups with a large potential group of disabled customers
  • public service institutions and researchers that focus on inclusivity and design for all
  • IT developers, designers and other virtual magicians that like to cocreate new opportunities to everyone with a disability in any of the mentioned fields of expertise

Foto van mensen buiten bij de SXSW conferentie: Ben Houdijk

Photo: Ben Houdijk.

Where can you find us?

The New Dutch Wave House is situated at the Austin Convention Centre. Our platform number is 1209. Also check: Want to meet & greet? Please contact our experts at the SXSW stage or mail them:

Dick Lunenborg:
Eric Velleman: